JACKSON, Wyo. (CBS4) – A local journal reports that 19 elk were killed by wolves near Bondurant, Wyoming.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department confirmed that 19 elk, 17 calves and 2 cows, were found near a feedground Wednesday morning.
Regional Wildlife Supervisor John Lund said they confirmed the elk were killed by wolves.
“This a rare event. A lot of people call it surplus killing. It has been observed on other occasions, just not very often. This was one of those events. Several wolves came in over one night and killed 19 elk. Normally one or two elk a night here and there is no big deal, but 19 in one night is fairly rare,” Lund told County10.
He said he suspects he knows which wolf pack is responsible, as they have been frequenting that particular feedground, and said it consists of about nine wolves.
The Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mike Jimenez, said this kind of surplus killing is extremely rare for wolves.
“By and large, wolves don’t kill for sport. We did an eight year study and we looked at elk feedgrounds. What we found is that generally wolves did not kill what they did not eat,” he said to County10.
Management of the responsible wolves is not so clear, as they do not fall under WGFD’s jurisdiction, but under the USFWS.
Note: The source of the featured photo is not yet confirmed, though COUNTY10 has verified that these are the elk that were killed by wolves near Bondurant.